Let's Help These Charities Give Books to Kids

Posted by Marie on August 16, 2019

For many book lovers, teachers were the people who helped them discover the magic of reading. But did you know that a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 94 percent of teachers use their own money to buy school supplies, including books for their students? To help pass on the magic of an amazing story to the next generation of readers, we want to help charities that support teachers, school librarians, and after-school programs with new books for students. And to go big, we're inviting you—the wonderful Goodreads community—to participate.

I'm in. How can I help?

We asked three charities that work with schools to create a registry of books they most need. We’re now inviting you to:

1. Check out the charities below and decide which one(s) you would like to support.

2. Go to their AmazonSmile Charity List (links below). If you aren't already an AmazonSmile customer, you will need to sign up using your Amazon account in order to purchase from Charity Lists.

3. Pick which book(s) you want to buy, and make your purchase. The books will automatically be sent to the charity.

Here are the charities:

Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental believes every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks to achieve their highest potential. Literacy opens doors and enables every child the chance to live their own journey.

Founded in 1966, Reading Is Fundamental is the leading voice for children’s literacy and, in partnership with a grassroots network of volunteers in schools and communities nationwide, has distributed more than 416 million books and impacted the lives of more than 50 million children, inspiring generations to read, learn, and grow.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. Its WNDB in the Classroom initiative provides boxes of diverse books (20 to 30 copies per box) to low-income schools and libraries nationwide.

By helping children find stories and authors they can relate to, WNDB believes that we can help foster in them a lifelong love of reading. Founded in 2014, WNDB has donated more than 14,000 diverse books across 41 states and the District of Columbia.

First Book

First Book believes that education is the best way out of poverty for children in need. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 425,000 registered teachers, librarians, after-school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic-needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit e-commerce site.

Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income communities in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 5 million children every year and supports more than one in three of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need.


What is AmazonSmile Charity Lists?
AmazonSmile Charity Lists is designed specifically for charitable organizations so they can request and receive product donations using Amazon’s selection, prices, logistics, and convenience. With Charity Lists, customers can support charities by sending them the products they most need. Charity Lists are curated and managed directly by the charitable organizations and verified by AmazonSmile.

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization. Every time you shop at smile.amazon.com (either your own shopping or purchasing from a Charity List), Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from more than 1 million organizations to support. You can learn more here.

How do I change my current AmazonSmile charitable organization?
If you want to support Reading Is Fundamental, We Need Diverse Books, or First Book with your AmazonSmile shopping, or if you want to select one of over a million other charities, follow the instructions here.

What about children outside of the U.S.? Can I give books to them?

Of course! Some nonprofits that have programs for children outside of the U.S. include:

Bibliothèques Sans Frontières

Book Aid International

Books for All

Room to Read

Save the Children


THANK YOU for your help in giving more children the opportunity to experience that magical moment of being lost in a great book. What was the first book that you remember loving as a child? Was there a teacher who really helped you become a reader? Tell us in the comments.

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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message 1: by Mimi, Goodreads employee (new)

Mimi Excited to help give The Astonishing Color of After for We Need Diverse Books!

message 2: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones I legitally read "the magic of an amazon story"... like, books = amazon ._.

Rachel Reads Ravenously I love this, bought a book for each charity. Thank you Goodreads for helping to give back!! xx

message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily And don't overlook local mission efforts, whether you initiate one yourself or help some effort that is reaching a group of children with particular needs. (The church I attend has two concurrent, albeit small, efforts happening. Sometimes one can participate particularly closely with a sense of making a difference by contributing to efforts like these.) A group in Vermont has a program designed to reach schools or towns with minimal library facilities. One woman I "met" in an online discussion group so charmed with her story of getting a library built in an Appalachian community that we sent books gleaned from a local annual community book sale. Look around, find one that adequately entices you. Even giving a book shower for an about-to-be grandparent may be appropriate. (I was the lucky, very surprised, recipient of one of those!)

message 5: by BookCrazy (new)

BookCrazy Thank you for letting us know about this opportunity. I donated books to each organization.

message 6: by Tzu (new)

Tzu Thank you for supporting them! I donated!

message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Whitaker Love this - just donated some books to We Need Diverse Books. Thank you Goodreads for supporting these organizations.

message 8: by Lena (new)

Lena This is so great. It sounds so cliché, but I honestly think that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for books.

message 9: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Detz Thank you, Goodreads for supporting all these wonderful organizations! I donated a book to each of them! We all need to continue to support and spread the love of books to all!

message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Downing Please consider adding The Journey of NEM by Erika Brannock - |39100370]. A book for young children of being different.

message 11: by Ravindra (new)

Ravindra Patil These sincere efforts cannot be counted in coins n coining. World

message 12: by Sue (new)

Sue Magee I'm a Brit and use Give As You Live when I shop online - thus raising funds for Room to Read :)

message 13: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Please consider adding the Lisa Libraries to your wonderful list. We donate beautiful new books to underserved children across the country. Check out our website and our Facebook page to see all that we do ❤️

message 14: by Birgit (new)

Birgit I am in Germany, so am a user of amazon.de - as far as I can see, we do not have an "AmazonSmile": so, is there a way I could support this from here as well, or is this US only?

message 15: by Cai (new)

Cai Birgit wrote: "I am in Germany, so am a user of amazon.de - as far as I can see, we do not have an "AmazonSmile": so, is there a way I could support this from here as well, or is this US only?"

Thanks for being willing to support this! We've listed some charities above that have programs for children outside the U.S., but it looks like there isn't one specifically for Germany. We'd love to hear from other members in Germany if you have suggestions!

message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Oh my gosh, I've always been a big reader, so I have a lot of favorites! My mom used to read me the Little Golden Books, like the Tawny, Scrawny Lion, and the Saggy, Baggy Elephant. Then when I was older, I would go to the library and check out the Berenstain Bears books. Later, I graduated to the Ramona books, and I loved Roald Dahl books! My teen years were filled with the Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and Point Horror books. From there I made my way to V.C. Andrews books, and Stephen King. I've never stopped reading, and I hope I never have to!

message 17: by Lou (new)

Lou I love the chance to buy books for these wonderful organizations!!

message 18: by Mary (new)

Mary I was going to suggest linking to indie bookstores rather than to Amazon, but then I discovered that Goodreads is owned by Amazon... I wish I could view these book lists without logging into Amazon, so I could buy locally.

message 19: by Birgit (last edited Aug 22, 2019 10:45PM) (new)

Birgit Cai wrote: "Birgit wrote: "I am in Germany, so am a user of amazon.de - as far as I can see, we do not have an "AmazonSmile": so, is there a way I could support this from here as well, or is this US only?"


Thanks Cai, it's a great project! I've re-checked in the meantime and it looks I was mistaken, we do, in fact have, have an amazonSmile here in Germany, sorry I must have been too hasty the first time. I may not be able to support this project, but I am sure I'll find something else there. Thank you for giving me the idea, I was not aware something like this existed!

message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol Collier It is so true that kids everywhere need books of their own to read. I live in the Chicagoland area and there is an organization that collects used children's books and gives them to kids who don't have books at home. Win-win. I get books off of my daughter's book shelf and some child gets a good book. It makes so much sense. Bernie's Book Bank is the name.

message 21: by April (new)

April This is amazing! Thank you for leading this initiative!

message 22: by CdnBookLover (new)

CdnBookLover Looks like Canada is left out of this project also. :(

message 23: by Kikijanika (new)

Kikijanika So happy to donate Book Aid International. I'm a nurse myself so it's great to help my colleagues around the world.

message 24: by Book guru (new)

Book guru ❤️❤️

message 25: by Erica (new)

Erica D`souza are these applicable in India?

message 26: by Amy S (new)

Amy S Where is the international option? I'd like to donate but, this seems to be US-centric.

message 27: by Wendy (new)

Wendy I donate to and have my Amazon Smile account linked to Kids Need to Read.


This charity donates books to underfunded school libraries. I still remember the joy I got from going to our school library as a child. It's often the first place disadvantaged children are able to discover the books that appeal to them and bring them joy.

message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol Amy S wrote: "Where is the international option? I'd like to donate but, this seems to be US-centric."

At the end of the blog, international charities are identified and linked.

message 29: by Brigette (new)

Brigette Donated! Thanks for sharing this opportunity.

message 30: by Mary (new)

Mary I love how easy it was to donate a book!

message 31: by Becky (new)

Becky hi

message 32: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin What a beautiful idea, Goodreads! Thanks for providing a quick and easy way for us Goodreads users to help children. Spreading the love of books!

message 33: by Ms Bridget (last edited Aug 30, 2019 11:41PM) (new)

Ms Bridget To those who say their countries are being left out, see what you can do to have Amazon or other companies start something where you are (I see where some have already made GREAT suggestions). Better World Books (.com) donates books when you purchase books..I don't remember off hand if it's donated worldwide or not but that is also a great website to look into and check out. Used books, great prices and helping those that normally wouldn't have or have limited access to books, get access to them...Those that shop at book depository, maybe ask them to help too. Maybe they can work with customers to see where they can help one or two areas...and then spread out. (Don't reply to me with negative and why "You shouldn't have to do that...it's up to the company"...If you don't want to reach out...don't complain...be the SOLUTION to the problems you see...otherwise, be quiet..and don't reply for this statement either...Triggered? Not my problem [I put this here because people to get triggered with what I say for whatever reason, even in the most innocent of cases....a hypothetical example?-I can say the sky is blue and have had people get upset lol])

message 34: by Ms Bridget (new)

Ms Bridget Lily wrote: "And don't overlook local mission efforts, whether you initiate one yourself or help some effort that is reaching a group of children with particular needs. (The church I attend has two concurrent, ..."
Another great idea Lily!

message 35: by Christine (new)

Christine Great charities! I’m a retired teacher: during the course of my career, I spent more than $10,000 of my salary on supplies for my students, the majority of which was spent on books. Kiddos really need books in their classrooms... and also to take home and keep and treasure. If you give your child’s teacher a gift at the holidays or the end of the year, consider a gift card to a bookstore! Also, many schools participate in the “Scholastic Book Fair.” You can purchase books there to donate to your child’s classroom... teachers usually have a ‘wish list’ at the book fair. (Another good program is “Kellogg’s Points,” especially you can only afford to donate in a small way. Save points from Kellogg’s purchases, and one of the prize options is a children’s book- you can even choose to have it mailed directly to the teacher.) 📖 📚

message 36: by Christine (new)

Christine Another idea: many communities these days have a “Little Free Library” box. Please consider donating your gently-used children’s books to one of these libraries, where people can choose a book (or more) for free!

message 37: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Cao i dont see myself as a reader,I would think I was one of them.
i prefer fiction。
paper books
no ,i finish a book five times

message 38: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Sartain Hello, my name is Sandra Sartain. I am from Florida and although I have read many books, I have never commented on one. When I read Laugh Clown Laugh I found myself drawn into the life of Violet and the voice she heard. It is a very easy book to read and yet it carries a strong message and I feel it could be easily used in witnessing to an unsaved person in a way that could cause them to want to look more closely into this peace that she finally found. It is a book I would recommend to anyone.

message 39: by Alan (new)

Alan Asnen I've found the Amazon Smile charity route most convenient.

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